Tuesday, 6 August, will be observed as a regular work day: in fact it’s a day scheduled for baking Fruit Cakes. But it is also one the the Feasts of the Lord and an important monastic feast for contemplating and considering that divine light, not necessarily apparent to the senses, but filling and sustaining all creation.
In the narratives of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke) the Transfiguration of Jesus on Mount Tabor signals his approach to his betrayal, suffering and death. It is a sort of wake up call, indicating what that tragedy really means: the lifting up and glorification of the Christ as John’s Gospel would describe it. Yet, it is forecast that we humans cannot comprehend until we have experienced our own dying and rising with Christ.
Of course, that describes the trajectory of any monastic life, individual or collective, and has poignant meaning for a community like ours intentionally taking the responsibility of re-founding. It is a profound challenge to recognize that much more lies beyond the insecurities and the self-doubts; but also far removed from any over-confidence, self-satisfaction and denial; any reliance on programs, strategies and securities, as necessary as they may be. Our trust, our faith, must be in God and in the unpredictable and challenging ways God leads us. We need the deifying light to enlighten our discernment; we need communion with God to be his beloved children. As St. Benedict exhorts us in the Prologue to his Rule: Let us open our eyes to the deifying light.